2008/09 Annual General Meeting
There are two ways we can view season 2008/09 at the Moonee Valley Cricket Club – either through a negative viewpoint or a positive light.
If you look for the negatives, you can point out two Grand Final losses and no senior flags.
I much prefer the positives – and there is plenty to focus on. Following advice from Cricket Victoria, we can officially say we’re now the biggest cricket club in the State.
We might have lost two Grand Finals, but the upside was that we made our first turf Grand Final since 2002/03, and all three of our Turf teams made the finals. We’ve now been promoted to the VTCA’s North A Division for 2009/10.
Six of our 12 senior teams made finals, and six of our 14 junior teams. With 26 senior and junior teams, we are by far one of the biggest cricket clubs in Victoria.
Ten players in our Turf finals sides came through our juniors – so the equivalent of virtually one full team was home-grown. A further eight players through our junior program played in our other three senior finals teams.
This season we added a tenth senior men’s Eleven and a second women’s Eleven. Our Under 14 (2) team won a thrilling Grand Final, with nine wickets down and off the second-last ball – making Glenn Perussich our first multiple juniors Premiership coach. We have won one or more junior Premierships in each of the last six seasons, so our junior development continues to bubble along.
Our last senior Premiership was in 2000/01, and the quest for our next one has become almost the Holy Grail of the club. We are putting a lot of pressure on ourselves as a result. This season it was a case of so near, yet so far, as our Firsts and Thirds put up a brave fight at different stages of their matches.
But I believe the processes and structures we have put in place in the Moonee Valley Cricket Club have placed us in good stead to achieve the ultimate result.
Stability and improved communication of our chosen direction were priorities for the new committee leading up to last season, and we achieved vital early steps with the prompt reappointment of coach Lou Raffaele for his second season, and Mark Gauci back as First Eleven captain. We fielded just 18 players in our First Eleven in 2008/09, compared with 26 the previous season – and this stability carried through to far more settled line-ups in the lower grades.
This stability – enabling players to get to know their teammates and their role in their team – was vital to six senior teams making finals and a further two just missing the cut.
We had more of a buzz and sense of purpose around the Club with chef Peter Fenaughty’s Thursday night meals, our regular structure for Match Reports and our onfield performances. Other clubs were again learning that they took Moonee Valley lightly at their peril – in any grade.
Success begets success, and we were demonstrating this regularly with onfield performances. On one memorable Saturday in November, we had Evan Blythe, Pat Felmingham and Nigel Walker each take seven wickets, while Alan Harry and Dean Lawson each made 150s in the Sixths on the way to a new Club record score across all grades – 3/475.
With our 26 teams we are almost the equivalent of a small or medium-sized business, and our structures and processes are vital to us being able to run efficiently and professionally. We were able to achieve this, without losing sight of the fact that our players, parents, supporters and volunteers are our No. 1 asset and the reason why we exist.
We achieved success in the North West Cricket Association’s Twenty20 competition, easily cleaning up Taylors Lakes – the eventual winner of the top NWCA grade flag. It was good to be able to benchmark against one of the pace-setters of the local comp and match up so convincingly.
I can’t say enough about the efforts of Mark Gauci in organising our Bushfire Benefit Match so quickly after fires devastated a number of Victorian communities on February 7. The effort was very much player-driven and led by Mark, as we knew that two of our own players were directly touched by the tragedy.
As a result of the efforts, the Moonee Valley Cricket Club raised $9700 for the Bushfire Appeal and won lavish praise from our local representatives, including Essendon State MP Judy Maddigan, Maribyrnong Federal MP Bill Shorten and Moonee Valley councillor Jim Cusack.
Our women’s teams learned how to win games of cricket, and it was emotional to see the White team win the first match of the season and then the Black team – comprised mainly of our pioneers – break through for two wins in three weeks late in the season. Three of our girls in Under 12s and Under 14s also starred at senior level, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to with our women’s cricket.
I wish to thank my hard-working colleagues on your committee for the team roles they played in ensuring that virtually everything during the season ran smoothly and professionally.
Vice President Jim Polonidis brought great stability to the committee with his wise counsel, particularly utilising his experience as a player in the top grades to ensure that we kept abreast of cricket at the top levels.
Kevin Gardiner had in my view the best job at the Club as junior co-ordinator – but probably also the hardest, as he had the previous incumbent of seven years looking over his shoulder the whole time. Kevin – I now have full confidence in your skills and abilities and know that junior development is safe in the hands of you and your committee.
Paul Comino and Phill King had the arduous task of controlling our finances, and it was no mean feat to keep abreast of the figures and turn a small surplus. They ensured we knew where we stood at all stages throughout the season.
Richard Cooney is a no-nonsense secretary, as anyone who copped a Cooney grilling during the captaincy interviews will attest. His work behind the scenes is first class.
Dynamo Kim Johnston gave our sponsorship a big boost pre-season, then turned her focus on events and functions and we achieved great success there.
We also utilised the experience of Daniel Phillips as a top-grade player, and he was always in control as our equipment manager. The fact that he worked shift work, travelled from Kilmore and captained the Seconds made his efforts even more meritorious.
Peter Fenaughty as canteen manager invariably emerged from the kitchen with flour in his hair and beard on Thursday nights, but his efforts were first-rate and he turned an excellent profit from his endeavours.
Steve Malone pioneered our move into sponsored onfield apparel, and our black and white playing tops looked great. He also had a second string as our Under 14 head coach.
And Jenny O’Brien as Funds Manager made a valuable contribution to turning a profit.
Thanks and congratulations
Thanks also go to Lou Raffaele for the way he coached and led our onfield performances, Tony Gleeson for again taking on the role as Women’s coach and then trying to explain the physics of the job at presentation night, and to the tireless Danny Terzini for being honoured with Life Membership.
Dan has been an indispensable member of our Club since before my time, and his role and vision in the establishment of our juniors in 1996 was significant. And he’s taken on just about every other task that’s been invented.
Congratulations to Bob Sciacchitano for winning the Lindsay Jones Best Clubman award, for a multitude of tasks he takes on without ever seeking acknowledgment. He played a key role in getting our new nets finally up and running.
Congratulations to John O’Brien for winning the MMVCA C Turf bowling award, to Alan Harry for winning the Barron Shield batting award in the NWCA and to Jacinta de Niese for beating all the boys to win the NWCA Under 12 batting award.
And finally thanks to my wife Adele and sons Murray and Nigel for their patience in putting up with my obsession with the Moonee Valley Cricket Club. The boys have long been players, and even Adele has taken the view that “if you can’t beat them, join them” as a Women’s team member.
And thanks to the partners of our other committee members for “lending” them to a worthy cause in the Moonee Valley Cricket Club.
Graeme “Charlie” Walker.
Moonee Valley Cricket Club.
Season 2008/09 has come and gone, and it won’t be long before we start pre-season for the next. But before that, lets just take a look back at the season that was.
It’s fair to say that going into my second year at the club, the expectations were that we had the talent to succeed. Having 10 senior men’s teams, as well as the club priding itself on the juniors, the structure was in place to suggest that everything was primed to play finals.
We certainly had a good mix of experienced senior and junior cricketers to enable the club to succeed. MVCC has that and more. The overall processes the club has implemented, and the way the club is managed, are a true reflection of the work done both on and off the field.
Out of the 10 senior men’s teams, six made finals, already an improvement from last year where we had only two sides. Also, having had the First & Third XI sides play Grand Finals was an awesome effort in itself. Well done to both Mark Gauci and Dino Sapuppo on their efforts throughout the season. And not forgetting the Under 14 side winning the premiership – great effort by all players and coaching staff.
To all the guys (and girls) who played cricket this season, well done and keep up the hard work. Always listen to advice, and always try to improve the skills you have and work on your weaknesses … playing cricket is all about fun, so enjoy it.
I'd like to acknowledge and thank the following people for their efforts throughout the year:
• Mark Gauci, the First XI captain, who, as always, does an awesome job
• Mark ‘Junior’ Cini, as our chairman of selectors. Never an easy task, but you did the best you could’ve done … keep your head up mate.
• Kim Johnston, our sponsorship guru. Great job done in one of the hardest positions in any club committee.
• Arosha Perera and Nick Puccio, both assistant coaches, thanks for your help and efforts at organising training routines.
• To All the grade captains (you know who you all are), great job and many thanks for your efforts and support.
• To all the committee members, from Charlie Walker down. It’s never easy running a club, and to be now No. 1 in Victoria just shows the hard work you all do put in.
I would like to give a big thank you to all the guys who assisted me at training throughout the year, mainly when we, the coaches were not around. It’s great to have so many people want to help.
The future looks bright for the talent we have available. The main focus is to develop the juniors through the senior ranks – to gain experience and to work on the skills they already possess and to work harder on the weaknesses they have to make them better players. As for the senior players, work hard towards making your personal goals achievable, and always listen to advice.
Season 2009/10 is fast approaching. It’s exciting to know that the First & Second XIs are going up a grade to play a higher level of cricket, and it’s just rewards for a tremendous year of cricket – which even though it didn’t bring any silverware to the Club, gained valuable finals experience for players to carry with them in their future years.
Also, knowing that we at MVCC are the biggest cricket club in Victoria, means that we have a bunch of people who obviously enjoy each other’s company.
The focus now is on pre-season, which isn’t far away, and having been re-appointed for my third year at the Club as coach, I’m also looking forward to bigger and greater success both on and off the field.
Senior Coach, Moonee Valley Cricket Club.
Moonee Valley Cricket Club’s Junior section maintained its strong contribution to local cricket in the 2008/2009 season.
We fielded 13 teams (14 at the start of the season), and played 154 players across the U10; U12; U14 and U16 age groups. New players were welcomed to what has become the club of choice for families in the local area.
Six of our 10 eligible teams competed in finals this season, with the U14 White team coached by Glenn Perussich taking out the flag in a gripping Grand Final at Maribyrnong Park. Charlie Walker’s U16 White team made the semi-final, as did Norm Wright’s U12 Black team and U12 White under Paul Hobbs.
Jacinta de Niese won the U12F competition batting award and Peter Chiera in U16 and Peter Wright in U12 were worthy inclusions in representative teams.
Congratulations go to all of the players, coaches and families involved in finals. But the story neither begins nor ends there as significant development occurred under the guidance of now-experienced junior coaches.
This has built on previous seasons’ progress to the point where junior players are now significant contributors to the on-field fortunes of Moonee Valley’s senior section. To illustrate this, Robbie Ball and Sam Coventry-Poole were key players in our Senior 2nd XI and 3rd XI finals teams. In addition, the 10th XI made its debut this season as a father-son team thanks to the vision of Charlie Walker and the enthusiasm of Kevin Memery and John Martiniello. And enthusiasm tends to be contagious.
Some restructuring occurred this season with Alan Harry taking on the Junior Treasurer’s role, and Head Coaches Charlie Walker in U16; Steve Malone in U14; myself in U12 and Darren Nagle in U10 assuming responsibility for management in their respective age groups. Alan’s contribution to the club cannot be underestimated – our finances were in good hands right from the beginning. As well as the additional focus provided by the Head Coaches, we were fortunate to have parents Domenic Chiera and John Brelis guiding our U16s, Glenn Perussich, Alan Harry, Dean Lawson and Steve Radford looking after our U14 teams, Norm Wright and Paul Hobbs in U12s, and Chris Bibby in U10s. Added to this, former junior parents Charlie Walker and Phill King made an outstanding contribution as U16 and U12 coaches and our U10 Gold team benefited from ex-junior player James Clarke’s coaching.
We also thank Jenny O’Brien for her contribution to the club’s fundraising with her tireless efforts in managing the chocolate drive and Danny Terzini for his continuing longstanding commitment to the club’s Junior Section.
We also thank the many parents who assumed responsibilities such as scoring, keeping track of equipment and drilling players on match days and at training sessions. This level of involvement is crucial to our teams being able to take to the field professionally.
In addition, the Milo In2cricket Program was run on Friday nights this year and while numbers were small, this important lead-in to junior cricket will become a fixture so that the Club has a natural path to our U10 age group. We are indebted to Paul Baks for taking on the responsibility of looking after the co-ordination of this program.
A Year of Transition
Charlie Walker’s stewardship of the Junior Section has been outstanding and despite moving into the club presidency for 2008/09, Charlie continued his involvement with junior cricket and his guidance and advice has been invaluable. The 2008/09 season has therefore been one of transition from Charlie’s leadership and consolidation. As much as we can feel confident of the Junior Section’s growth and development, we would be wise not to feel complacent. As well as continuing what occurred in 08/09 we will need to restore, renew and reinvigorate all areas of our operations. The following recommendations cover where we need to improve:
• Canteen roster for parents and helpers so we can maximise revenue from this source.
• Specialised clinics at training using senior players and coaches as well as parents and professional coaches to enhance junior development.
• Enhance the profile and communication capacity of the junior section by making sure successes and achievements are regularly celebrated on the club website.
• Commence MiloIn2cricket in mid-October to ensure we optimise participant numbers.
• Target particular players as well as providing general information about representative cricket.
• Plan, schedule and promote junior functions from early in the season to maximise involvement and attendance.
• Improve storage facilities and practices in the pavilion for junior equipment.
• Ensure that Working With Children checks are obtained by all junior coaches and those coming in contact with junior players by 1 July this year.
• Increase numbers of coaches who have Level One Coaching qualifications.
In closing, I thank the club for the support and encouragement provided to me at all levels this season.
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